Event highlights Partnership for Safe Drinking Water in Africa

The USAID and Procter & Gamble hosted an event recently to highlight their partnership which provides safe drinking water at the household level to millions of children in Africa. The event was held in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. and featured officials from both organizations, as well as representatives from other participating partners...

WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2007 -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) hosted an event recently to highlight their partnership which provides safe drinking water at the household level to millions of children in Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. The event was held in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. and featured officials from both organizations, as well as representatives from other participating partners.

'This partnership is a significant step to provide safe drinking water in Africa and elsewhere for millions of people," said Dr. Kent Hill, Assistant Administrator for USAID's Bureau of Global Health. "This unique effort demonstrates the power of partnership by leveraging the skills and resources of Procter & Gamble and the U.S. government to reduce diarrheal disease, responsible for the deaths of an estimated 4,000 children per day around the globe."

This partnership focuses on the provision of two proven, cost-effective, household level technologies to disinfect drinking water:

-- WaterGuard - a dilute bleach product developed by the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pan American Health
Organization.
-- PUR - a powdered water treatment product developed by Procter & Gamble
and CDC.

Shown to reduce disease and death in numerous health intervention trials, these technologies are now being used to provide safe drinking water for emergency relief, including the recent floods in Kenya and Ethiopia, and to help address cholera outbreaks in the Congo and Malawi. In addition, these technologies are also being used to raise awareness and change behavior in many African countries.

"We have provided more than 600 million liters of safe drinking water over the last three years," said Charlotte Otto, Global External Relations Officer at P&G. "Our efforts to date have been a drop in the ocean compared to the vast need and this partnership with USAID enables us to scale-up our efforts in order to make a much larger health impact."

While USAID and P&G are key collaborators on this effort, it is comprised of a network of partnerships focused on the provision of safe drinking water. The main partner for social marketing is PSI, a mutual partner of USAID and P&G in many countries. Currently PSI has outreach awareness programs for PUR in eight countries, and WaterGuard, with USAID support, in 18 countries. More than six million sachets of PUR and seven million bottles of WaterGuard have already been provided in Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia.

For more information about USAID and its global partnership programs, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_partnerships/

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